“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Big Pool in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The National Road

The Road that Built the Nation

The National Road Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, April 25, 2010
1. The National Road Marker
Inscription.  “. . . so many happy people, restless in the midst of abundance.” —Alexis de Tocqueville, 1840.

Americans are an adventurous people. From past to present, they have used feet, horses, wagons, stagecoaches, canals, railroads, bicycles, automobiles, trucks and buses to “perpetually change their plans and abodes.”

Centuries ago, George Washington dreamed of a highway joining east and west. In 1806, Thomas Jefferson made that roadway a reality when he risked his Presidency by authorizing, “an Act to regulate the laying out and making [of] a road from Cumberland in the State of Maryland to the State of Ohio.”

The next generation built that “United States Road,” a thirty-foot wide, crushed stone thoroughfare that spanned rivers, traversed mountains and opened up America’s western frontier to the Mississippi. Merchants, traders and families from all over the world journeyed along this route in their quest to claim land, expand markets and form new lives.

Today, you can trace that same path along the Historic National Road. Discover
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the places, events and stories that shaped this nation. To have your own adventure, stop by any Welcome Center or local visitor center to speak to a travel counselor and pick up a Historic National Road map-guide.

(sidebar) Built in the early 1800s, a paved highway west was America’s first federal project. Much of the approximately 800 mile long National Road is still marked by historic milestones.
Erected by America's Byways.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson, and the The Historic National Road series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
Location. 39° 36.807′ N, 78° 0.398′ W. Marker is near Big Pool, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Fort Frederick Road, on the right when traveling south. Located in the parking lot for Fort Frederick State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Big Pool MD 21711, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gettysburg Campaign (here, next to this marker); Western Maryland (here, next to this marker); “ protect, preserve...and provide access thereto for the public.”
The National Road Map image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, April 25, 2010
2. The National Road Map
(within shouting distance of this marker); "Old Fort Frederick" (within shouting distance of this marker); “...a place of Arms...would be absolutely neccessary” (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Frederick (approx. ¼ mile away); Nathan Williams (approx. ¼ mile away); Fort Frederick Officers’ Quarters (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Pool.
More about this marker. The marker displays a picture of a family standing beside an early 20th Century car along the National Road. Captioned: “Are we there yet? These early 20th century travelers speak to all of us who at one time or another couldn’t wait to get out of the car. Today, we have the luxury of taking our modern interstates for granted. But who can’t relate to those faces?”

The marker also has a map showing the general path of the National Road from Baltimore to St. Louis. And uses the background “The National Road at Fairview Inn,” which is standard for this marker series. An elevation diagram of the national road is displayed on the bottom of the marker's face.
Regarding The National Road. This is a standard informational marker often used along the National Road in Maryland and is duplicated at other locations.
Markers at the Entrance to Fort Frederick image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain
3. Markers at the Entrance to Fort Frederick
Credits. This page was last revised on January 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 5, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 752 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 5, 2010, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

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Sep. 28, 2023